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OECS discusses regional approach to agriculture
Published on August 1, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Vina Frederick

CASTRIES, St Lucia (GIS) -- Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Authority, prime minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, says the OECS region has the capacity to supply itself with locally-produced food.

roosevelt_skerrit2.jpg
Roosevelt Skerrit
According to Skerrit, “If the market is sure farmers will produce.”

He admitted, however, that there are a number of issues the OECS region has to address in relation to food security.

“We have, in agriculture-based countries, a serious challenge of labour. I do some farming myself and I do sell to supermarkets, albeit on a very small scale, so I understand the challenge of finding diligent labour.”

The Dominican prime minister says the region must work towards consuming more locally-produced food which will help keep income within the region.

OECS director general, Dr Didicus Jules, said there is substantial capacity for agriculture within the OECS.

“What is critical is that we undertake an inventory of assets and resources within the OECS. I think it was Sir Arthur Lewis in one of his studies who emphasized that growth has to start within, and that maximizing the use of our resources will create prosperity,” Jules said.

OECS member countries have agreed that a regional approach to agriculture production is the obvious solution to addressing the region’s high food import bill, and food security.
 
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